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Soldering on

I’ve had an enjoyable few days soldering stuff. Not random bits of brass to make bits of overhead but proper kits, designed by someone else!
Starting with this rather nifty lever frame from the Scalefour Society. One of these can often be found on their stand at shows and it’s pretty hard to resist having a play with it. At one point I thought of getting one just because it’s nice! Now with Brettell Road I have an excuse!
It’s build as per the instructions. The kit allows for additional micro switches to operate point motors but in this case I’m planning a purely mechanical system.
Next up the High Level chassis kit for my Jinty. As supplied the kit is designed for traditional compensation but I wanted mine sprung. The current fad for continuous springy beams seems like a lot of faffing about (I admit I’ve never tried it) and doesn’t really replicate what I see on real locos. The idea of equalised beams seems a whole lot more simple, uses less bits and is what the real thing does, (ok not a Jinty but think of a class 47 bogie).
Other than that I followed the instructions and for my first ever etched chassis I was surprised that it only took 2 afternoons to get it all together, I’m not sure why I thought it should take any longer to be honest. Obviously there’s a bit more to do yet, balance weights and pick ups.
Above a quick mock up of how it all looks. The steps don’t come with the kit and are from the Brassmasters detailing kit I used earlier. It’s something a bit different for me and it’s really nice that someone has done the thinking about it stage for you. Makes a change from assembling a load of unrelated bits and having to figure out what to do with them!

Point rodding and hints of the past.

Signal detector
What you see above is a representation of a detector for the ground signal on Brettell Road. It was knocked up from scraps of brass using photos and Steve Hall’s articles in MRJ 113 and 115. I always enjoy fiddly details like this even though I know it will go unnoticed to most people.
There’s only going to be 1 point on Brettell Road that’s operated by the off scene signal box, the rest being operated by hand levers. However I wanted to include remnants of what was there before meaning the double slip would have been operated either end with facing point locks. Also given the distance a couple of compensators will be needed so while it’s not exactly complicated stuff it is worth doing.
My chosen route is the Brassmasters etched bits with rodding from MSE. I have also included the odd rodding stool where the rodding has been removed to help with the idea that it’s not so much added to the layout as taken away.
Point rodding compensators
Most of this stuff is quite basic if a bit fiddly. Above are a couple of compensators. The ones supplied are cosmetic and don’t move and that’s fine for the disused rods as per the one on the right however with only 1 run that does anything it would be rude not to make it work. Ok it’s driven from the point rather than driving the point itself but let’s not worry too much about that. 2 Brassmasters compensators were used to make the one on the left with the centre arm from one and a few brass pins meaning it will move when the point it thrown.
All in a fun little project.


I’ve always liked mechanical signals, the ones on Moor Street are great fun to play with but for New Street I wont get the chance to have any. ¬†However for Brettell Road there are 2 (one of which is abandoned) so I have got to have a go at making some from MSE kits.
disused signal
First up the disused one, based on a photo I found. This one would actually be a repeater for the main signal the other side of the bridge due to sighting problems. Weathering is done with gouache. I replaced the supplied ladder with one of Colin Craig’s.
ground signal 1
ground signal 2
The other signal is this little ground signal (yellow so that the headshunt can be used when its set to danger) I deviated from the MSE instructions by making the counterweight arm work too. Theres a fibre optic in the lamp but its a bugger to photograph – you can just make it out in the second picture. It looks a bit blue but I was using a white light source – changing it to a yellow one should correct this.

Finally as I was tidying up I left a pack of LED’s lying on the layout and purely by chance it illuminated the signal. Thinking it looked quite nice I took the image below – I’d like to claim it was carefully planned but nope – this was just lucky!
signal in the dark
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